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Old 06-16-2004, 01:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Are people generally okay with taking their cars through the automatic car wash found at many gas stations? We just bought a 98 323is and I was going to get it washed today. Also, I noticed there's no radio antennae, is it embedded somewhere on the car?

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 06-16-2004, 01:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know enough to answer your first question (regarding automatic car washes).

The radio antennae are embedded in the defrost grid in your rear window, according to a post I read the other day. I had read in my shop manual it was located somewhere in the rear window assembly, so I'll concur.
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Old 06-16-2004, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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touchless is ok but forget the brushes you will have many swirl marks ie scratches on paint
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Old 06-16-2004, 01:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My car gets hand washed.
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Old 06-16-2004, 01:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As long as the wash is "touchless", as others on the forum have written, it is not a problem. I would carry an "absorber" or some other drying towel to finish off the drying process, especially in the door jambs, trunk, etc. You won't get bug goop and road tar removed. If you keep a spray bottle in the trunk (that has a couple of drops of car soap in it) and pre-spray real well any bird droopings or other spots, you will increase what junk is removed during the wash.

Be sure and give your brakes a couple of good presses before you get on the road to dispel most of the water on the rotors. I also give the brakes another good pressing at around 40mph to finish off any water on them.

I wouldn't make this my regular method of keeping the car clean.

That being said....

Personally, I only take my Hondas through the any carwash. My BMW gets more attention than my dog. It's never seen a car wash and probably never will. It's never even seen a window squeegee. When I drive into a gas station, I like to see the shine on my paint/windows enough so that I need my sunglasses. If it's not perfect when I leave my driveway, I'm not very happy. I even carry a quick detailer in my trunk. So if you see a guy in a parking lot somewhere wiping down his car, it's probably me.

My goal is to be able keep my car with such a shine that it can be driven onto any BMW showroom at any time on any day and no one know the difference (including the rims/tires).

But that's just me....

<---Shiny

Read through the FAQ's and the Detailing forum for more info.

btw, to the forum. Keep us updated on your new ride. We look forward to hearing how things are going with your bimmer. Post some pics. We all like pics.
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Old 06-16-2004, 01:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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NEVER EVER take your car through the car washes with the brushes. I did one time in my e30 and the brush got stuck in my front bumper and ripped it completely off!! STAY AWAY!
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Old 06-16-2004, 01:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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car wash bad, hand wash that shyt
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Old 06-16-2004, 02:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Definitely NO brushes, because of what was said before!
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Old 06-16-2004, 02:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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With the brushes? No.
Touchless ones are fine, although they may use cheep chemicals...

I usually get a CHEEP touchless wash to get the majority of the crap off (no wax, just soap and spotfree rense really) and then drive it promptly home and handwash it.
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Old 06-16-2004, 02:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tico481@Jun 16 2004, 03:21 PM
NEVER EVER take your car through the car washes with the brushes. I did one time in my e30 and the brush got stuck in my front bumper and ripped it completely off!! STAY AWAY!
luckily you werent like driving a Geo Metro or something, otherwise, when that machine tries to pull that brush out it might take the whole car with you and you'd be dead

sorry, it was just daydreaming
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Old 06-16-2004, 02:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That is a ride I'd pay ro ride T-mac
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Old 06-16-2004, 03:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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my friend gave me a free copuon to a brushless one yesterday, so i gave it a shot... that mofo stripped my wax and made it look like it had a haze, so i drove it home and rewaxed. figures, the first time i try an auto it does that... now i am def. sticking to hand wash
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Old 06-16-2004, 03:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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WARNING: TOUCHLESS IS BAD TOO. DO NOT USE EITHER!

I trust you saw that and I won't have to type this in all caps too, because that would be annoying.

Anyway, touchless are just as bad as regular washes, but for different reasons. As we all know, brushes will fuck up the paint. What we don't all know (but now you will), is that touchless wahses compensate for being less effective by using stronger, harsher alkali based chemicals. So whats this mean for you? 2 things: The wash will take off your wax coat. Not a problem for some, but a huge one for those that wax on a normal basis (once every 1-2 months) and especially those that wax less than that, or never. The second problem is that the chemicals cause plastic and rubber to dry out. Over time, trim will turn off white-is, rubber seals will dry and fail, and so forth.

The answer? $0.25/min DIY wash car with your own mit.
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Old 06-16-2004, 06:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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See the product review on the Mr. Clean washing system. Seems that you can give your car a quick wash in about 5-10 min., rinse it and drive off (let the air dry it) without leaving a spot.

Seems faster and cheaper the the gas station car wash.
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Old 06-16-2004, 07:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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im going to try the maguars strips this weekend
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